Article by Chris Mandia
She’s there when your friends aren’t. She doesn’t nag. She doesn’t complain.
If anything, she’s the most agreeable presence in your life. And she hangs on your every word.
I’m talking about your dog.
Be it a german shepherd, dachshund, or pit bull, your pooch most likely holds a special place in
your heart. With that being said, it’s imperative to protect your canine (or any pet for that
matter) during uncertain times. Disasters come in many forms: earthquake, tornado, flood, terrorist
attack, pandemics – the list goes on and on. So when the time comes to bug out, don’t forget your
four-legged partner in crime.
If you find yourself in a situation that isn’t safe, it’s probably not safe for your pet. It was heartbreaking to watch abandoned dogs wander about Fukishima post-nuclear disaster back in 2011. Many waited patiently for owners who never returned. And this isn’t an isolated incident. From Hurricane Katrina to the recent Superstorm Sandy, pets seem to fair pretty bad during such events. Accordingly, it’d be a good idea to include your pet in your evacuation plans. If the situation arises where your only option is to leave your pet behind, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends posting a Rescue Alert Sticker. Said sticker should list “the types and number of pets in your household…name of your veterinarian…your veterinarian’s phone number.”
You can get a free emergency sticker by filling out an online order form here. Conversely, if the
eleventh-hour comes and you’re buffered by time, yet still unable to bug out with your pet, the
Humane Society affirms “some shelters may be able to provide foster care…for pets in an emergency.
But shelters have limited resources and are likely to be stretched to their limits during an
emergency.” Again, it’s best to rely on oneself, rather than the Establishment’s so-called safety
Just like you, fido needs food, water, medical supplies, and certain specialized items
inherit to pet ownership. A bug out bag for your critter is a great idea. The
ASPCA recommends at least a weeks worth of food, garbage bags, various medical records from your veterinarian, some form of mobile kennel/crate and recent photos of your pet (in the unfortunate event your pet becomes lost en route). Remember to take in
consideration your geographic location when planning your escape. Know
what natural disasters regularly visit your location and plan accordingly.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned disasters are less likely to occur, as are everyday emergencies.
Formulate a game plan for more common misadventures. Stuck at work; blizzard; minor traffic accident
– all can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Although it seems counter to the self-sufficient
Prepper philosophy, find yourself a trusted neighbor who can help out when bad fortune strikes.
Article written by Chris Mandia. Chris Mandia is a Southern California writer who writes on military issues. Serving two tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantryman, you can find out more about him at www.chrismandia.com.